Tech Tip: Fuel Injected Engine Camshafts
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Tech Tip: Fuel Injected Engine Camshafts

For a camshaft to work in a fuel injected application, it needs to make a good vacuum signal.

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For a camshaft to work in a fuel injected application, it needs to make a good vacuum signal.

To create a vacuum signal that stands a reasonable chance at working in an application without having to re-flash the ECM computer, a camshaft needs to be:

A) Short duration, 220-222 degrees at .050˝ maximum.

B) Wide lobe separation/centers, 112 to 114 degrees minimum.

Do not attempt to install a camshaft with a 108 lobe separation in a fuel injected engine, unless you are planning to re-program the ECM computer.

There are camshafts that are ground to work within the stock ECM computer parameters. Usually these camshafts have 208/208 degrees duration at .050˝ (intake/exhaust) and 112 degrees of lobe separation, or 208/214 duration with a 114 L/C.
 
Both of these camshafts would be designed to function in stock CID engines/stock compression and stock computer programming.

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However, if the cubic inches of the engine or compression ratio is larger than stock, the camshaft grind needs to grow accordingly and a custom camshaft would then be in order.

Also, having the computer re-programmed/re-flashed is recommended with any camshaft change, even the “no hassle/safe” type grinds.

While the camshaft may work with the stock fuel/timing curve programmed into the ECM unit, it will not be working at its optimum level. Think of it along the lines of taking a performance carburetor out of the box, bolting it onto the engine, hooking up the fuel lines and running it. It may run but without tuning/jetting the carburetor to the engine, but it will not work to its full potential.

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While we are on this subject, there are some engines that you need to be wary of:

  • Late ’80s-Early ‘90s 350 Chevrolets with a K engine code and an idle speed of 500 rpm (TBI)
   
  • Early Ford V8s with the Speed Density fuel injection

  • Dodge Magnum V8s

  • Any fuel injected application where the customer wants a loud/radical idle

These engines/computer combinations have very special camshaft grind requirements, so should you run into one of these combinations, it would be best to call your camshaft manufacturer for a recommendation.

Tech Tip courtesy of PBM-Erson Cams.

 

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